Does Rep. Steve Cohen Want to Start a War Over the Capitol Riot?

AP Photo/The Commercial Appeal, Alan Spearman, File

Last week, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) showed just how desperate Democrats are to keep using the Capitol riot to silence their political opposition. He compared the January 6 attack on the Capitol to the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor, the act of war that finally pushed the United States into World War II.


Yes, he compared a few people trespassing into the Capitol and stealing Nancy Pelosi’s rostrum to the 353 Japanese aircraft that damaged 8 U.S. battleships and sunk 4, killing 2,300 Americans and wounding 1,140. To call Cohen’s comparison insane would be an insult to the mentally ill.

To top it off, Cohen began his remarks by flubbing the history of Passover before proceeding to compare the Capitol riot to the Exodus from Egypt.

“We just celebrated Passover. Passover, Jewish people are instructed over two centuries to remember — uh, over 2,000 years — to remember that we were in bondage and we escaped and to remember that day and teach others about it,” Cohen said, apparently conflating the birth of Jesus with the Passover, which took place about 1,500 years beforehand.

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“January 6 is a day like that. It’s a day that should be remembered in America because our democracy was at stake,” the representative argued.

“This was an attack on our democracy as much as Pearl Harbor was an attack on our country, and for people to suggest that it wasn’t that big of a deal, that it was just some folks who were demonstrating and protesting, and most of the people were just good people – they were mostly just fine citizens going up there to protest: malarkey,” Cohen continued.

“This was an attack on the United States Constitution. They wanted to upset the Electoral College and to make Donald Trump the president to eliminate people that stood in his way, which included the vice president, which included the Speaker of the House, and they wanted to intimidate Congress to support Ted Cruz’s position,” he added.


Cohen’s narrative is a huge pile of steaming… malarkey.

First off, the truly dangerous rioters and ringleaders of the Capitol riot did not “support Ted Cruz’s position.” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called for a non-partisan commission to study election fraud in the 2020 election and then make a recommendation by January 20, 2021. The rioters wanted to stop Congress from certifying the Electoral College votes, and they expected Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally reject the electors from contested states and declare Trump the winner.

Secondly, while many protesters did take part in the violent riot at the Capitol, most of the crowd on January 6 remained peaceful, as then-President Donald Trump asked them to do.

Many on the Left have used the violent rioters as an excuse to condemn the entire crowd, and then even implicate the Republicans who voted to contest the election results. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) — which puts mainstream conservative and Christian organizations on a “hate map” with the KKK — called on Congress to censure or expel every Republican who did so, claiming that these votes represented support for the lawless riot, even though elected Republicans loudly denounced the violence.

Most importantly, the Capitol riot was absolutely nothing like Pearl Harbor, and it is terrifying that Democrats think they can compare the two. Democrats have advocated for new legislation to fight domestic terrorism, and some of them have explicitly connected domestic terrorism to the political Right — even libertarians. Military “extremism” training appears to follow the SPLC’s playbook to demonize conservatives.


Ridiculous exaggerations like the one Cohen made pour fuel on the fire of partisan divisions and suggest that the Capitol riot was just the surface of a large and nefarious conspiracy to destroy democracy. In reality, the rioters were a loosely organized bunch whose cause went up in smoke when Trump conceded to Biden and left the Oval Office. Federal officials are rightly prosecuting the rioters, none of whom have been charged with possession of firearms in the Capitol.

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If the Capitol riot was an “insurrection,” it was a most pathetic one.

NotTheBee’s Joel Abbott struck the right tone in mocking Cohen’s absurd comparison. He juxtaposed footage from January 6, 2021, and December 7, 1941. Notice the absence of bombs and explosions in the first video.

By contrast, the Japanese dropped bombs on Americans, killing thousands.

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The very notion of any comparison between these two events is utterly absurd, but it showcases the Democrats’ political strategy with the Capitol riot. While most Americans understand that the Capitol riot was a dark moment but not a lasting threat to America, Democrats attempt to exaggerate the event and use it to tar conservatives as a violent threat to the country.

Americans aren’t buying it, so Democrats are forced to resort to absurd hyperbole. Americans need to shame them into dropping this dangerous narrative.


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